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Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.

Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby Charles » Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:40 pm

I'm going to continue this discussion, but first I'd like to remind everyone that line by line responses on the AN Forums have been discouraged for years. Going back to our earliest days. If it's crucial to the point you're making, we're flexible now that we have a new format for the forums. But in general, if it can be avoided, we ask that the editorial use of the forums be such that line by line responses through the use of quotes be minimized.

Getting back to the topic, I think the title of this subject illustrates the point that I and many others make regarding the Guild.

It would've been nice to see a topic entitled "Suggestions for The Animation Guild" as opposed to "Questions regarding The Animation Guild". The impression that permeates through the community is that the Guild is set in its ways and is not open to suggestions or constructive criticism. From my own experiences I find that to be the case. Not just recently, but from my earliest experiences with the organization. There was a time when the Guild was motivated to do things that it wouldn't normally do, and that motivation came from the influence of AN when the site was first launched. Now it's back to business as usual.

The problem lies with the fact that the Guild doesn't have to do anything. Like any monopoly, there's little to no pressured to adapt. That's a big reason why we hear the same mantra over and over. The Guild can't do anything about it, or the Guild can only do what it's members want it to do, which isn't the case. The Guild does what it wants to do period, without concern for the consequence of its actions or inactions, whatever the case may be.

If the Guild was truly interested in what the community has to say about it, it would be open to suggestions from the community, just as much as it would be open for questions.

So if it's open to questions, my question is, why is the Guild not open to suggestions?

Why does the Guild encouraging blacklisting?

Why does the Guild allow unmoderated comments on its blog? Especially ones that single out individuals and allows them to be called things like douchebags? Case in point, Scott Ross. You'll never see anyone calling Hulett a douchebag on AN even though there's plenty of people that think of him this way. Why do you tolerate such completely unprofessional behavior on your blog?

Why don't Guild members stand up and fight the oppressiveness of the Guild itself when they experience it? Why don't they stand up and fight against the studios when they abuse the work situation?

Why is the Guild so threatened by AN that you feel the need to take our link off of your blog?

Why doesn't the Guild only sponsor lunches for new members? How comes it doesn't take chronically unemployed members to lunch instead?

Does the Guild care more for new members who pay several thousand dollars to get in, as opposed to members who are already vest and who only pay quarterly dues?

Why doesn't the Guild develop a system that allows non-members working in animation to enter the organization and enjoy at least some benefits? Why does it mandate that they work at a union shop or force them to jeopardize their employment and the future of the studio by insisting that they turn the studio into a union shop first?

Why does the Guild call those that question them haters?

I could go on but you get the idea.

I don't expect answers to any of these questions, or solutions from the Guild to the problems that many artists are experiencing, which is why I won't be disappointed if they don't, and surprised if they do. The Guild is a system. It's just a system.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby SteveK » Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:41 pm

Hey there Charles! Thanks for your questions. I'll do my best to answer them.

Charles wrote:I'm going to continue this discussion, but first I'd like to remind everyone that line by line responses on the AN Forums have been discouraged for years. Going back to our earliest days. If it's crucial to the point you're making, we're flexible now that we have a new format for the forums. But in general, if it can be avoided, we ask that the editorial use of the forums be such that line by line responses through the use of quotes be minimized.


I'm sorry if quoting you is against your policies or is discouraged. I find that its best for reference and especially in a post like this, it helps to answer each question.


Charles wrote:So if it's open to questions, my question is, why is the Guild not open to suggestions?

What would you like to suggest? We encourage members to attend meetings and bring up topics for discussion. I came here to answer questions and hear suggestions.


Charles wrote:Why does the Guild encouraging blacklisting?

Please explain how we do that.

Charles wrote:Why does the Guild allow unmoderated comments on its blog? Especially ones that single out individuals and allows them to be called things like douchebags? Case in point, Scott Ross. You'll never see anyone calling Hulett a douchebag on AN even though there's plenty of people that think of him this way. Why do you tolerate such completely unprofessional behavior on your blog?

The anonymous feature on the TAG blog is used by many. The posts are not always constructive. But, giving people a chance to voice their opinions without personal retribution is the ultimate form of free speech.

Charles wrote:Why don't Guild members stand up and fight the oppressiveness of the Guild itself when they experience it? Why don't they stand up and fight against the studios when they abuse the work situation?

Good question. As the Guilds Organizer, I ask myself the same question. If there is something a member dislikes about our policies, why don't they attend meetings and discuss it? Why would members elect to take unpaid overtime?

Charles wrote:Why is the Guild so threatened by AN that you feel the need to take our link off of your blog?

There is no threat from you. The bad blood between AN and the Guild was the obvious cause of a link being removed. As was stated in a separate thread on this forum (http://animationnation.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=405&start=20#p979), the link is not wanted back on the blog, therefore it will remain off.

Charles wrote:Why doesn't the Guild only sponsor lunches for new members? How comes it doesn't take chronically unemployed members to lunch instead?

The New Member Lunches are designed to introduce new guild members to the MPIPHP plans and intricacies as well as the TAG 401(k) plan.

The Guild has maintained a job listing email list that we've expanded with my help for our unemployed members. Taking them to lunch would be patronizing and not a good use of resources.

Charles wrote:Does the Guild care more for new members who pay several thousand dollars to get in, as opposed to members who are already vest and who only pay quarterly dues?

No. Guild members who are not working can elect to take Honorable Withdrawal and not pay their dues until they return to work at a Guild facility.

Charles wrote:Why doesn't the Guild develop a system that allows non-members working in animation to enter the organization and enjoy at least some benefits? Why does it mandate that they work at a union shop or force them to jeopardize their employment and the future of the studio by insisting that they turn the studio into a union shop first?

The MPIPHP benefits are partially funded by the studios and producers and partially funded through employer contributions. In order for a member to receive these benefits, they need to be working at a studio that is signatory to our contract. In our contract, we mandate that employers and producers contribute to the MPI funds in behalf of the artist. Without employment at a Guild signatory facility, and those contributions, there is no MPI benefits.

Charles wrote:Why does the Guild call those that question them haters?

We don't. I indicated that you harbor hatred for the Guild through the tone and wording of your "questions". You told me that its just your diction and you don't hold any hatred. I accepted your explanation and continue to stand corrected. However, you continue to make my point for me by asking your questions in the tone that you do.


Charles wrote:I don't expect answers to any of these questions, or solutions from the Guild to the problems that many artists are experiencing, which is why I won't be disappointed if they don't, and surprised if they do. The Guild is a system. It's just a system.

Now .. where would I get hatred from that?
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby Charles » Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:58 pm

How do you get hatred from the tone of my postings and the questions I pose, I have no idea Steve. Probably comes from the same general mentality the Guild has that it's okay for you guys to anonymously call people names when they disagree with you or have another point of view. It's not hatred when it comes from you guys. Only from others.

Free speech? It's free speech for anonymous posters to call Scott Ross names? But when I report the behavior I witnessed by Hulett towards Guild members at a meeting I attended, that's not free speech and the banning of our link on the Guild's blog is on order.

And of course, that's not blacklisting either.

See, that's what I mean. That's the hypocrisy of your organization. It's okay for you guys to behave any way you want. But when something not even remotely close to what you guys do occurs on the AN Forums, we get blacklisted. Regardless of the history we have in supporting the Guild from day one of our existence. None of that matters.

When it comes to the Guild, there's no question about it. You can't even honor our editorial policies when posting on the forums.

The Guild has lost so much goodwill, at least among the community we're in touch with, that nobody cares whether or not we dedicate an AN Night to you guys.

You're no longer a labor movement. You're a system. You guys are a benefits system. You were a movement at one time, but not anymore.

My advice to artists looking to break into the biz is to join the Guild, take advantage of the benefits it has to offer, but don't expect much else regardless of the propaganda they feed you. It's just a system. They'll help you where they can, but be prepared to help yourself. That'll be the case more often than not.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby EAllen » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:23 pm

I feel the need to interject here and say that if Steve didn't address your concerns, Charles, one part at a time, I would have never matched the response to the grievance! As, Charles, you had several of them!

I agree Charles that line-by-line style responses should be kept to a minimum, although there are situations where that's the only response style sufficient for addressing a complex grievance, or a long post containing several grievances wrapped up into one run-on sentence (as I too am prone to do from time to time).

I reiterate, it's sad that there's now not a shot in Hell the AN link will make a comeback on the Guild blog roll--but it is what it is, eh?

Again, I appreciate and value Steve's needed explanations to some long-standing issues. It was educational for me and for other professionals who are AN supporters who weren't aware of the historical context of the issues!
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby SteveK » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:36 pm

As I stated Charles, its bad blood. Its all vitriolic banter and calling it hatred is fair enough as far as I'm concerned. Would despise or anger be better words?

Yes, calling Scott Ross a douche bag is free speech. Personally, I would challenge anyone who called Scott a douche bag. But, since they did it anonymously, I don't give it a fraction of the energy you do.

I can't speak to why your link was taken off. I haven't talked to Kevin or Steve about it. I don't see how it pertains to free speech or Scott Ross. Reporting what you perceived at a meeting is certainly free speech.

Ahh, so you are also equating Blacklisting to the removal of your link. That's a bit of a stretch and part of the overuse of your diction I'm referring to. Removing the link was a result of the bad blood. That's pretty much the matter in a nut shell. We haven't stopped anyone from visiting your site or being a part of your Nation. The link was removed, that is all.


Charles wrote:See, that's what I mean. That's the hypocrisy of your organization. It's okay for you guys to behave any way you want. But when something not even remotely close to what you guys do occurs on the AN Forums, we get blacklisted. Regardless of the history we have in supporting the Guild from day one of our existence. None of that matters.

So, we have to act the way you want us to, but you can't do us the same courtesy?


Charles wrote:The Guild has lost so much goodwill, at least among the community we're in touch with, that nobody cares whether or not we dedicate an AN Night to you guys.

Really? http://animationnation.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=405#p904 EAllen asked for Steve or Kevin to attend.

I think your advice to artists is not only sound, but necessary. Artists should always be on the look-out for themselves. The Guild, and its contract, the power of a collective voice and the benefits are certainly a powerful advantage. But nothing beats being your own best advocate.


ps. I changed my posting style because you took such objection to it. I hope its appreciated.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby Charles » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:56 pm

It is Steve. It is appreciated when a member on AN actually observes our policies. Thanks.

The bad blood is entirely on the part of you guys. The name calling and attitudes all stems from you. There's more hatred of AN in the Guild than there ever was or will be towards the Guild on AN.

One of the problems with the Guild is that it's something of a propaganda machine. Question the propaganda and it all becomes personal. Just like what you're doing here. You made it personal.

The Guild took off the link to AN cuz you guys don't want people to know there's a venue that openly questions you and what you do and don't do. It's more important to you guys to keep face than it is to listen to what others have to say, as uncomfortable as it may get. Your idea of free speech is seen among the far greater community as unprofessional, petty, and way beneath the standards that an organization such as yourselves should be maintaining.

That's one of the reasons why so few people out of the thousands that make up the Guild actually attend Guild meetings. I'm told we get more people at a typical AN Night with nothing special scheduled than you do at Guild meeting. It shouldn't be that way.

The reason why the AN link was taken off was to punish me for what I reported here on AN about Hulett. And the reason why it stays off is because of fear.

You're new to this so I don't expect you to understand it all, but we were always Guild supporters. You killed alot of goodwill by that gesture. But it doesn't matter cuz you're a monopoly. You don't have to worry about the dynamics of a free market. You're a monopoly and people join you, for the most part, only because they have to.

The Guild is a benefits management organization. It was once a labor movement. Now you're part of the system. I think much of the resentment that your own members have towards you is that you try and portray yourelves as a movement, but you're not. You're a benefits management system.

I submit this respectfuly. If you guys take it otherwise it's your unfortunate problem and will continue to propogate the negative impression that many people in animation have towards the Guild.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby SteveK » Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:37 pm

Charles -

As you stated a few times, I'm new to this. If you believe that all the animosity stems from something Steve or Kevin said, I have no reason not to take your word for it. However, I can say that within the Guild office, no one talks about or hates AN. Its a non-issue with all of us. When I ask Steve about what happened, he talks about how Kevin was on here and how there was much discussion between you, Snake and Kevin. He doesn't get into specifics and I don't ask.

I came here because you misrepresented and spun my words on the post I wrote about Scott Roth's interview with Jeff Heusser. As I mentioned before, without the Google filter I have in place, I would not have know of AN.

Nothing you have said or can say I will take personally. Your opinions about the Guild and your obvious frustrations will never effect me on a personal level. I am glad to be here as the Guild's Organizer and to answer questions or clear up confusion. However, from the passionate feelings in posts both now and those that I've read, I can say that feelings certainly are an issue. Again, I am here as an emissary and information source.

What I've also noticed in your last post and earlier posts, is your use of the word YOU and how you mean me personally and then flop to mean the Guild. So, if you meant the Guild as an organization feels maligned by your words, that is equally not the case. The Guild and the IATSE have been called worse names and have been misrepresented and insulted much worse than you and AN can do. It comes with the territory.

The link again .. Charles, do you want the link back on the Blog page? Now, before you answer that, know that it is not my decision to make. I can suggest it to Steve and even be an advocate of it. But, it would be much easier for me to do after I spend some time here and get to know you and the AN crew.

To that point, if the Guild is such a paper tiger to you and you feel its existence merely serves artists in a benefits capacity, why is a link to AN on our Blogroll so important? What benefit to you does it serve?

I, sadly, have not attended a membership meeting at this point. I have been invited to two executive board meetings, which I attended. Since my hire, there has been only one membership meeting and that was on my wife's birthday. But, I can confirm that the turn-out to the meetings is admittedly low. I've also never attended an AN evening and can not say how many people you have in attendance and therefore have no comparison. I would say that drawing a parallel to the anonymous posting capability of the Blog to the attendance of the membership meetings a thin argument.

I can say that I am looking forward to attending the next, and each subsequent, membership meeting as an employee of the Guild and its Organizer. Part of my job is to increase the presence of the Guild in the industry. That not only means organizing artists in non-signatory facilities. I am also looking forward to organizing our members into taking more active roles in the Guild. I have some ideas as to how to do this, and would welcome any suggestions you may have.

You've brought up us as a monopoly a couple of times and I find the comparison weak. You call us that because artists who take work at Guild signatory studios instantly become members. Thus, since membership is mandatory, and we're the "only game in town", its a monopoly.

Its a misuse of the term, but I'll still offer a few points in rebuttal. A monopoly would also mean that any studio doing animation under our jurisdiction would be signatory to our CBA. That is most definitely not the case, else I would not have been hired. One day, I'd like not to be able to make that argument, but that day isn't today and most certainly will not be tomorrow. The dues and fees you use as an example of extortion are tax-deductible. So, whatever is paid to the Guild, is returned by the federal government. Calling us a monopoly also implies that the relationship we have with our membership is not symbiotic, which you even state isn't true by calling us a benefits management organization.

Finally, as I've stated before, I do not take anything you say or believe about the Guild personally. I can say that the Guild as an organization exists with or without your blessing. Personally, I would rather have it, and my presence here serves that goal. If you only wish to offer suggestions as to how we can improve by insulting and calling us names, I can use that as well. As you stated to me, that is not meant as an insult to you, AN or any of its members. Those simply are the facts.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby skynet » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:13 pm

Hmmm, is this a contradiction here? These sentences were right next to each other and seem to sound inconsistent... So you (not "you" as in the Guild) don't know why the link was removed because you haven't talked to anyone about it and yet you know in a nut shell that it was removed because of bad blood. I mean, I knew it wasn't taken down because of one specific thing anyway... I'm just confused what you're trying to say.

"I can't speak to why your link was taken off. I haven't talked to Kevin or Steve about it."

"Removing the link was a result of the bad blood. That's pretty much the matter in a nut shell."

Bad blood is the reason? So you do know? Where did you hear that from? Someone else or you're assuming?

Just curious.

I wasn't suggesting that AN should ask for the link to be put back up earlier. I was mainly making a point and the point stands.

One other thing. I'm trying to find the "name calling" you mentioned. Name calling is very specific. You say there is name calling and I can't locate it so I'm curious where it is, just so I can know for myself.

Thanks.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby SNAKEBITE » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:49 pm

Good observation, Adrian

in addition, I'm reading very carefully. Took a step back. Right now, I think this guy was sent here to totally start sht and we're falling for it. Either that or he has no understanding of execution of intent...I mean, if it was about to inform people then why did he make it about a man?...He's not here to inform, his opener was personal. He felt misrepresented, misquoted by Charles so he wanted to reposition his feelings. It's not the first time I've seen this first time member personal vendetta scenario. its text book.
too bad its coming from the Union...but again, not surprised.

You're clever but lets be real. You're using your position for another agenda as well. Your answers are passive aggressive and really don't tell us what the Union does at all...this conversation is 90 percent poopoo 10 percent peepee.

But by all means, keep typing.

or am I just angry, frustrated, have hate inside me, confused? all the above? please inform!
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby SteveK » Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:43 am

Skynet -

Thank you for pointing that out. You are correct in that it is a contradiction. I have not asked why the link was removed therefore I do not know the specific reason it is off. I am assuming its due to the bad blood that developed between Kevin Koch, Steve Hulett and those here at AN.


Snake -

I thought I've been clear. I came here after being informed of my words being misrepresented. I wanted to answer that, and did. As the Guild organizer, I've started going to multiple forums and blogs to increase our presence on the web. Coming here, and reading the older forum posts, I expected there to be ridicule and anger. Looks like I was right. But, I still wanted to come and make myself available to AN.

I have never met you and can't say what kind of person you are or what kind of anger, hate or confusion you harbor. I can say that you enjoy coming after me and my posts because I am a Guild employee and supporter.

I am also glad to see you are an authority on "poopoo" and "peepee".
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby skynet » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:44 am

Hmmm, yeah I'm not getting much out of this either. It's only getting more confusing. I'm not seeing any real or new information about anything yet. Why is it when someone from the Guild comes here it always turns out to be some form of an attack? That's too bad, and the attack always seems to get more unfocused, inconsistent and confusing every step of the way. From what I'm seeing so far, as Snakebite said, it appears to be agenda based and there's nothing to learn here. All this... just to satisfy one person's ego? Really? Please correct me if I am wrong. I don't get what this is about but maybe that is just me.

As I've said before in other threads, if an attack is you're looking for, feel free to attack me if that makes you feel better. Charles has had enough from what I can tell but I don't mind. Let me know if you need me to say something to get you inspired. Just keep in mind that you wont get much of a return attack so it may not be very satisfying. My mind doesn't inhabit the illusional realities of this world so most sights and sounds wont mean the same thing to me.

Anyway, I'm sure people are more curious to hear what the Guild is actually about. Isn't that why you said you're here, Mr. K? Why don't you start practicing what you're preaching and enlighten everyone with Guild procedures and practices? Maybe someone should start asking actual questions and see if that helps Steve let go of the agenda and start offering some new information about the Guild... or maybe start a new thread with some questions because this topic is going nowhere fast.

Other than that, I don't see how continuing this is helping anyone... or I could be wrong. Maybe everything I just said is all meaningless and we're all spiraling into a distorted chaotic vortex wrapped in timeless implosions of pancaked super massive black holes and Brazilian or other hot chocolate filled milky ways of the third unearthly kind.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby Charles » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:47 am

Cut the crap.

You came here accusing me of hating the Guild and mispresenting your words. You flatter yourself. I was drawing attention to Scott Ross and the issue he was making for an alternative union. Something we've been talking about here for years. You have no idea about the history of this site and the community, and you jump in with the same ol Guild bs.

Organizer? Looks like Hulett got some sucker to do his dirty work. Hulett couldn't lead a trail of ants if he was the queen, so I guess he has to find someone. Lotsa luck pal.

Your best bet is to go where people have little to no idea what a bunch of jerks your leadership consists of. Maybe the fx side of things. You can try video games, but it's 20 years after the fact. Emphasize the benefits cuz if you get into the fighting for your rights baloney you'll probably lose them.

You guys have major internal problems. Not just within the organization and its structure per se, but mostly within your heads. Get that straightened out and you'll have a better chance of getting through to people.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby skynet » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:51 am

Steve - here's an enlightening thread that Don Bluth started on the old forum. There is some discussion on ego. It's a great topic started by a great friend of ours, an animation legend. You should check it out.

A New Beginning
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby SteveK » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:29 am

Skynet-

I regret to hear you feel that way. I've stated why I'm here. I have no wish to attack any AN member. Thanks for the old post reference. It was an interesting discussion on ego.

If you have a question regarding the Guild, feel free to ask. I'd be happy to answer. That's why I started this thread.



Charles -

Scott's hypothetical society is one that I support. I've said it many times, including in the TAG Blog post which you quoted. I've also stated my lack of knowledge about the history of AN and the Guild. I've conceded to tangentially reading the posts where you and Kevin went at it.

I've also conceded to misunderstanding your terse and aggressive tone with hatred. "Sucker" .. "Bunch of Jerks" .. is obviously your way of stating your displeasure with me, the Guild and our leadership. I've come to understand that.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby skynet » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:21 am

Feel what way? I'm not really feeling anything, just pointing out the obvious and giving you options. I have no interest other than that. The reason you say you're here largely contradicts how you're acting. You made it clear that you ultimately only came here to cause trouble, mostly for Charles, because that is exactly what you are doing. Why do you have to do that? Is it really going to make you feel any better? This is something we've been trying to get away from for a very long time but somehow people like you always end up crashing the forum and starting the whole process again. I'm only a bystander watching you come here and do the same thing that others have done with no success. You can't change how the Guild is perceived by coming here to attack AN or one man while claiming you're here only to help people understand the Guild. Everyone will easily see right through that, especially now. Your cover is blown. Now everyone knows why you're here and most likely no one can take you seriously.

I guess we thought we had a new rep from the Guild but it looks like it turned out to be nothing. Well, have fun on the forums anyway for as long as you decide to hang out.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby SteveK » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:31 am

Again Skynet, I regret that you believe that. I am not here to cause trouble. If by stating my opinion and clearing up my posts and answering questions about the Guild is trouble, then maybe I'm not really welcome here. If that's the case, feel free to state it as such.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby Charles » Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:28 pm

Could've been worse. Could've called Hulett a douchebag but we leave the top shelf stuff to the always professional free speech Guild.

You have a colossal challenge on your hands. You think you're going to organize artists to be a part of your union? With the damage that you guys have done here over the years? And with the stuff you're pulling on AN now? I have news for ya. Few people give a rats ass about the Guild and fewer people care now that you've picked up the recruiting mantle and adopted the guild's trademark attitude. Your only hope is the benefits angle. Beyond that, I don't see how you'll pull it off.

We're interested in an independent union. If there's someone out there who is free of the Guild, independent of these clowns, and who's interested in discussing ways of moving forward, we're all for it.

Other than that, as I said before, good luck cuz I don't see how you're going to get anywhere. You guys burned alot of bridges. This could've been an alliance that would've worked well for you. Instead, it's business as usual. We were always on your side, but you insist on seeing us as your enemies.

The Guild organizing new members is kinda like dogs chasing a caravan. If you don't know what that means, ask Koch. He'll explain it.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby EAllen » Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:34 pm

All due respect guys, heh, I went down all of Mr. Kaplan's posts (and I mean re-read them to the point of exhaustion) point for point . . . and the strongest language authored by him seems to be here in his 1st post where he talks about Charles's "hatred" of Guild policies--and again at the bottom . . .

I would be glad to continue to visit this blog and speak about the Guild and our practices and policies. I will start a thread and open myself to questions or comments. If, however, I'm met with vitriol and hatred that I saw was brought against Kevin, I too will make myself scarce here.


I used BOLD as emphasis for the last part of Steve's comment, because again, analyzed in comparison to every single post he's made so far, I found the above and his summation of Charles's feelings toward the Guild the most potent.

At first I thought maybe he wrote a post which had to be deleted, and he was getting some heat for that, but that now seems to be unlikely to me.

I like Charles's previous comment, in that it's certainly as gentle as he could make it given the nature of this discussion.

I hope we can continue to take the high road going forward as we continue this conversation.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby Charles » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:05 am

You should be an ambassador for the industry EAllen.

The problem with SteveK is that he came here from a position of ignorance. I don't mean that personally against him but he has no idea what AN is about, our history, the relationship we had with the Guild, so on. He doesn't even understand the difference between a forum and a blog. He's a total stranger and yet he comes here and in his very first post accuses me of hatred towards the Guild and threatens to leave if we're hateful and vitriolic towards him... and in the post you quoted, claiming that he saw vitriol and hatred here against Kevin.

For those of you who don't know who Kevin is, he's Kevin Koch, the current president of the Guild.

For one thing, there has never been any vitriol and hatred against Kevin. Not on my part or the part of anyone on the AN staff. On the contrary, we've always been happy that Kevin was a member of AN. In fact, he registered on the forums May 09, 2000. That's more than 10 years and 4 months ago. Before he was president of the Guild. Why the hell would we be hateful and vitriolic to a member that we valued as highly as we valued him.

I've always considered him a friend and he's always been friendly on AN, up until last year when he got a hair up his ass over my account of Hulett's behavior towards Guild members at a meeting on September 30 2008. He's the one who brought vitriol and hatred here, completely out of left field, and stunned us with it.

I noticed that Kevin has been frustrated on AN for the past few years cuz so many people within the Guild attack him. I've been to Guild Christmas parties where I've heard executive board members of the Guild talk about him disparagingly behind his back. He gets more hatred and vitriol from members of his own union than he'll ever get from AN, so SteveK's assertion that we've been hateful and vitriolic to him is nothing more than the same ol same ol from a Guild that can't come to terms with itself. I'll go as far to say that it's a bald face lie.

The Guild, instead of dealing with their own shortcomings, project their negativity and behavior upon us. And in retaliation against me for reporting what I experienced at that meeting concerning Hulett's behavior towards Guild members with a grievance goes, they took our link off of their blog.

The bad blood they have goes back to that incident, but there's more to it. My impression from years on AN, from conversations with others who are in the Guild, is that the Guild has always been jealous of the AN movement and afraid of what we represent. My report of the Guild meeting I referred to earlier provided the opportunity for the Guild's leadership to cut us out of the picture. They don't want people to know about AN because we stand up for those that have been disenfranchised and let down by the Guild. We expose the side of the guild they refuse to look at and deal with. For example, the unemployed Guild members that Kevin Koch himself has called "disgruntled" on the old forums.

So we continue to fight the good fight on behalf of everyone in animation. Not just Guild members, but everyone.

So when a newbie to AN comes here, officially representing the Guild in an recruitment capacity no less, and begins his interaction with us with these kinds of accusation and comments, it just not the best way to get things started. It looks to us like SteveK has been indoctrinated in the same guild hogwash that's lead up to their bad blood towards us.

My advice would be to drop the accusations and attitude altogether. Practice some humility and be friendly and considerate towards this community. He's not doing us a favor by being here. We're way beyond the crap that he's brought to the forums. That's one of the reasons why we have a new forum, to leave this silliness behind. Be respectful towards AN and you'll get respect. Don't come here falsely accusing us, especially if you're from the Guild. It makes you guys look even worse than the perception many in the industry have of you.
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Re: Questions regarding The Animation Guild

Postby EAllen » Sat Sep 18, 2010 12:31 pm

Thanks Charles, coming from you--again, what an extraordinary compliment.

If being an industry ambassador is what it would take to calm some of the tensions that exist between the organizations, then I would gladly and humbly accept. However, apparently a bit more than that is required.

Charles, I did keep reading Steve's reiteration that he was a newbie. Steve made a post the 16th explicitly accepting and acknowledging his role in this fray. In fact, from now on I could probably expect Steve, I think, to open every post on AN by stating "I'm kinda new to this . . .", "I just got here, but . . .", "I wouldn't know (such and such) because I'm green, but . . ."

'Kay, joking aside, I wonder if AN being a non-issue with Mr. Hulett and Kevin can be believed. Steve did say above that it was. I see absolutely no reason to question the legitimacy of that. Picture this: SteveK talks about AN forum matters to Steve Hulett. Steve Hulett gives a surface explanation to SteveK, then drops the matter. End of Story.

Why can't we buy that? Why wouldn't that be kosher? I'm sorry, Charles, I have no reason to be skeptical in this instance.

Furthermore, SteveK claims above that he wouldn't have even known of AN if it hadn't been for his Google filter. Okay, I may have to give you that, seeing as even before AN became an internationally known entity, I found it (if I can remember correctly) over nine years ago with little to no trouble, by following a link trail from animation websites. Still, it's plausible that there are people, even in the industry, who aren't aware of AN.

Finally, SteveK again reiterates for what seems like the millionth time :D that . . .

Nothing you have said or can say I will take personally. Your opinions about the Guild and your obvious frustrations will never effect me on a personal level. I am glad to be here as the Guild's Organizer and to answer questions or clear up confusion. However, from the passionate feelings in posts both now and those that I've read, I can say that feelings certainly are an issue. Again, I am here as an emissary and information source.



I'm not coming to anyone's defense here, but if SteveK's above quote is to be believed, he's shooting straight down the middle by attempting to be as broad but specific as possible, as if anything he wrote could be misinterpreted or taken out of context.

I'm sure if he felt that anything he wrote here could be construed as a put-down or a patronization of the AN brand, he'd be back on here with an apology before the site's servers had time to process it.

By now SteveK has a pretty good idea of what the AN/Guild relationship is like, therefore I can't characterize SteveK's participation on here as anything other than a substantial effort to mend some fences. Again, this is based on his posts only and no one else's.

I hope this can work out at some point. No matter how pessimistic anyone else gets at this point, cynicism has never improved anything, so I choose not to be cynical or skeptical of SteveK's efforts--as so far, his postings haven't given me one iota of a reason to be.
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